JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A regulatory board in Alaska on Wednesday will begin accepting applications for marijuana business licenses – the next step in setting up the state’s legal pot industry.
Leif Abel has the date marked on his calendar. He and his partners have been building a facility on the Kenai Peninsula for their company, Greatland Ganja. To apply for a license, prospective business operators need to have secured a site.
That has proven to be a challenge in some parts of the state due to location and zoning restrictions, local community bans or wary property owners.
Abel, who is with the Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation, said there’s a lot of risk for would-be business owners.
“I would say that your average business person would look at it and turn around and do something that was much less risky,” said Abel, who also farms and has a building company.
But he and others say they’re passionate about the industry and want to be a part of it.
It will still be months before pot can legally be purchased in Alaska by those 21 and older. While the state’s Marijuana Control Board will start accepting business applications Wednesday, it will be three weeks before any applications initiated then are deemed complete due to noticing requirements under state regulations. Once an application is considered complete, the board has 90 days to decide whether to accept or deny it.